Thursday, February 13, 2014

Writing Your Story - Pre-Writing Preparation


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Genealogy tip for the day: Writing Your Story – Pre-writing Preparation

Recording Your Living Relatives:
You may think this is a given, but you need to know your topic before you can write! Surprised??? If you have not done this already, it would be wise to visit your family members in person or by phone and make arrangements to “interview” them or have them tell you their story. As you can, record the accounts of your living members…and start with the oldest ones. They are the ones that are apt to not be around if you wait till you interviewed younger relatives.

There are many ways that this conversation can be done. You can ask folks to write their own accounts. Folks tend to procrastinate so give them a deadline. If this doesn’t work, of course try another method.

Interview them yourself – by phone or in person. Record a DVD or on some audio recorder. Try to set up a time that is most convenient for your subject. Inside would be preferred to outside, so as to avoid wind and background noise such as traffic. Always test your equipment ahead of time and be sure to have back up of equipment and batteries. You sure don’t want to spend the time and money for a trip, or inconvenience someone else if you show up and nothing works.

Always take notes – even when taping. If your recording get “cold” for whatever reason, your notes will help reinforce what was said. This is important and helpful if you hit a spot where you can’t understand what is being said and you don’t remember.

Make sure you record the date and place of the interview. Also any dates mentioned in the visit, review and make sure they are accurate. As soon as possible you need to type up your notes and transcribe the recorded interview. Be sure you do it as soon as you can while it is still fresh in your mind.

Just the Facts, Ma’am:
If you are old enough to remember Dragnet on TV, this phrase will be familiar to you. When you decide to write and want to include ancestors that are long gone and no present day relative knew them – then you need to do a lot of digging and research to make sure you do have true facts. That being said, if you are just starting out in researching your family this is probably not the time to start writing your family history. You may have a end goal of doing so. This can be a good thing as you can customize what you record with the view of publishing someday, in mind.

As you do your research you must record the source of your information. There are good books written just for genealogists on how to ‘cite your sources.’ This is important for anything you write. You never know but what someone, long after you are gone, may come along and want to build on what you have written. If it is inaccurate information, then you have wasted your time, those of your readers and any future researchers as well.

“History is who we are; Genealogy is who I am” sg

If any of these posts are helpful drop us a line in the comments section below. We just want to know if the information we provide to you is beneficial in anyway.

February 13

Polycarp, a disciple of St. John and bishop of Smyrna, is martyred on the west coast of Asia Minor.

Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII, is beheaded for adultery.

British Parliament adopts the Bill of Rights.

In the Glen Coe highlands of Scotland, thirty-eight members of the MacDonald clan are murdered by soldiers of the neighboring Campbell clan for not pledging allegiance to William of Orange. Ironically the pledge had been made but not communicated to the clans. The event is remembered as the Massacre of Glencoe.

The four day Battle of Fort Donelson, Tennessee, begins.

The Confederacy approves the recruitment of slaves as soldiers, as long as the approval of their owners is gained.

Jesse James holds up his first bank.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is founded.

First social security checks are put in the mail.

The Royal Air Force Bomber Command devastates the German city of Dresden with night raids by 873 heavy bombers. The attacks are joined by 521 American heavy bombers flying daylight raids.

A mob burns a radio station in Ecuador after the broadcast of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds."

At the Battle of Chipyong-ni, in Korea, U.N. troops contain the Chinese forces' offensive in a two-day battle.

The Pope asks the United States to grant clemency to convicted spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.

The United States sends 10,500 more combat troops to Vietnam.

General Motors is reportedly redesigning automobiles to run on unleaded fuel.

Enemy attacks in Vietnam decline for the third day as the United States continues its intensive bombing strategy.

Konstantin Chernenko is selected to succeed Yuri Andropov as Party General Secretary in the Soviet Union.

Born on February 13

Alexander VII, Roman Catholic Pope.

Giovanni Piazzetta, painter (Fortune Teller).

Charles de Talleyrand, Napoleon's foreign minister.

Lord Randolph Churchill, English politician, Winston Churchill's father and member of Parliament.

Feodor Chaliapin, opera singer.

Grant Wood, painter (American Gothic).

Georges Simenon, novelist.

William B. Shockley, physicist, co-inventor of the transistor.

Tennessee Ernie Ford, country and gospel singer.

Harold "Hal" Moore Jr., US Army lieutenant general, author; led 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment at 1965 Battle of Ia Drang Valley; his best-known book, co-authored with combat journalist Joe Galloway, is "We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young," an account of that battle.

Charles "Chuck" Yeager, American test pilot, the first man to break the sound barrier.

Kim Novak, actress.

Tennessee Ernie Ford


(TRIF-id, TRY-fid)

noun: An out-of-control plant that overruns everything around it. Also, anything that behaves in this manner.

After triffids, a species of plants in the science-fiction novel, The Day of the Triffids, by John Wyndham. From Latin tri- (three) + findere (to split). Earliest documented use: 1951.

In the novel, The Day of the Triffids, triffids are a species of large plants with three leg-like structures that enable them to move. Triffids have poisonous stings and attack people around the world.

"Ecologists reckon that triffid weeds, Monterey pines, and dozens of other invasive plants already extend over one-twelfth of South Africa."
Andrew Balmfor; Wild Hope; The University of Chicago Press; 2012.

"In a triffid's world, the only thing that matters is making money and the ability to make more money."
Rusty Markland; The World Hates A Salesman; Xlibris; 2011.

It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely, as it is apt to lead to infidelity. -Abraham Lincoln, 16th US President (1809-1865)

Today’s Recipe
February - Chocolate Lover’s Month
Chocolate Baklava

3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 cup hazelnut-chocolate spread (such as Nutella) $
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1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup blanched toasted almonds, coarsely chopped $
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1/3 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
24 (14 x 9-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1/2 cup butter, melted $
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1. Combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat; stir until honey dissolves. Increase heat to medium; cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 230° (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat; keep warm. Discard cinnamon stick.
2. Preheat oven to 350°.
3. Place hazelnut-chocolate spread in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH for 30 seconds or until melted. Combine hazelnuts and next 5 ingredients (through salt). Lightly coat a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Working with 1 phyllo sheet at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), place 1 phyllo sheet lengthwise in bottom of prepared pan, allowing ends of sheet to extend over edges of dish; lightly brush with butter. Repeat procedure with 5 phyllo sheets and butter. Drizzle about 1/3 cup melted hazelnut -chocolate spread over phyllo. Sprinkle evenly with one-third of nut mixture (about 1/2 cup). Repeat procedure twice with phyllo, butter, hazelnut-chocolate spread, and nut mixture. Top last layer of nut mixture with remaining 6 sheets phyllo, each lightly brushed with butter. Press gently into pan.
4. Make 3 lengthwise cuts and 5 crosswise cuts to form 24 portions using a sharp knife. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until phyllo is golden. Remove from oven. Drizzle honey mixture over baklava. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cover; store at room temperature.

5. Because phyllo sheets are thin and delicate, handle with care so you won't tear the sheets. Keep the sheets you are not working with covered so it won't dry out.
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Now You Know!